Yoga, Pilates, CrossFit, Bootcamp – why should our Riders cross-train?

Ever wonder how the Revolve instructors maintain their superhero strength and physique? In addition to kicking butt and sweating hard in their indoor cycling classes, our instructors make sure they add other workouts to the mix.

Cross-training off the bike offers multiple benefits: it helps prevent or rehabilitate injuryallows you to challenge other muscle groups, and enhances your core stability and overall mobility.

Our holistic approach to the Revival of the Fittest encourages Riders to go beyond Revolve to create and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Read on to see how some of your favorite instructors spend their time off the bike.

Revolve NYC Instructor Jason Tran

Revolve NYC Instructor Jason Tran

How I Cross-Train: Lift weights four times a week, Pilates or yoga twice a week, and swim once a week. During summer, I play tennis twice a week.

Benefits: Pilates and yoga strengthen my core and help with alignment and flexibility. Tennis and swimming improve my endurance and keep my upper body loose.

How It Improves My Ride: Strength training gets me up those steep hills; Pilates/yoga keep me limber; and tennis/swimming get me through those endurance rides!

Revolve DC Instructor Angel Stone

Revolve DC Instructor Angel Stone

How I Cross-Train: Strength train three times a week, yoga at least twice a week

Benefits: If you want to be sexy, you need to lift weights. Period. If you want to reduce aches and stress, you need to do yoga. Period.

How It Improves My Ride: The meditative aspect of yoga clears my mind, allowing me to focus on the ride. I’m able to ride better and longer because I’m mentally there. Lifting weights allows me to ride uphill like a champion. Last I checked, winning is awesome.

Senior Master Instructor Christianne Phillips

Revolve NYC Senior Master Instructor Christianne Phillips

How I Cross-Train: Running; plyometrics, weights, HIIT, and TRX at the gym; yoga; Pilates; Megaformer classes

Benefits: It wasn’t until I started adding weight-bearing exercises to my routine that I saw increased muscle definition and a significant change in my body. Yoga, Pilates and Megaformer help prevent injury and increase my overall strength. Cross-training makes my workouts more fun and challenging.

How It Improves My Ride: I ride stronger and more efficiently and feel more confident and successful – that mental piece is a huge part of any workout experience.

Revolve DC Instructor, Grant Hill

Revolve DC Instructor, Grant Hill

How I Cross-Train: CrossFit

Benefits:  I love the intensity, the competitive atmosphere, the community and the “practice” of it – being humbled with a movement that is very complex and improving over time. Most importantly, CrossFit resonates with my passion for functional fitness. Being strong is only good if it’s actually useful.

How It Improves My Ride: Training anaerobically (high intensity) improves your aerobic (low/moderate) capacity. My super high intensity 2-12 minute workouts help me maintain a faster pace for the duration of a 45-60 minute ride. Train in intervals and when it’s time to go long, you can go further faster.

Revolve Instructor Steph Nieman

Revolve NYC Instructor Steph Nieman

How I Cross-Train: I lead/take classes at Uplift Studios. I also lift heavy weights at the gym once or twice a week.

Benefits: Cross-training promotes a strong balanced body. Integrating variety also improves motivation, keeps one mentally fresh, and allows muscles to continually adapt.

How It Improves My Ride: Uplift has increased the intensity of my intervals on the bike. I can now hold an intense interval for over 1 minute! Heavy weight training for my lower back has stabilized my ride out of the saddle. I feel stronger than ever with the combination of Revolve and Uplift.

Revolve DC Instructor, Dorothy Beatty

Revolve DC Instructor, Dorothy Beatty

How I Cross-Train: Weekly strength training routine and running

Benefits: Increased endurance, strength and core balance; also prevents injury

How It Improves My Ride: Cycling is an incredibly repetitive movement; my cross-training works those power muscles in a different way, building up my overall strength and endurance on the bike.

Ready to cross-train, Riders? You’re in luck. Some of our 31 Days of Sweat prizes are the perfect way to start cross-training (awesome). If you win, you’re probably well on our way to being a superhero Grand Prize winner, too (even more awesome).

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NYC  Week 3 Prize: Who doesn’t want to ease their pains and reduce their stress levels? Open those hips and stretch out that back and mind with one month of unlimited yoga for you AND a friend at Yoga Vida. We like to workout with our friends around here!

DC Week 4 Prize: Fire hoses. Body weight. Sandbags. Kettlebells. Get in serious superhero shape and build up your strength, endurance, stability and mobility with one month of unlimited MyBootcamp.

Featured Revolve Riders: The Workout Wonks

“A pair of fitness geeks in our nation’s capital”, the Workout Wonks (otherwise known as Lexie and Kristine) have taken over the D.C fitness scene one workout at a time.  As co-workers and co-bloggers, Lexie and Kristine love to work and workout together.

Running StairsThe Wonks smiling through a freezing run in Meridian Hill Park

You two went from co-workers to co-bloggers. What prompted the creation of the Workout Wonks?

Workout Wonks came about very organically. We both enjoyed trying new workouts and just wanted an outlet to express ourselves. We expected our only readers to be co-workers, friends and family members.

Thanks to the awesome Washingtonian article “9 DC Fitness Bloggers to Read Now“, things have really taken off! We’re having a blast and love seeing the blog grow. A special shoutout goes to the readers as well as our favorite fitness studios (Revolve is at the top of the list!) that have encouraged us along the way.

How are your workout styles different?

We do very different things. Kristine is obsessed with indoor cycling and Lexie is a yoga fanatic, but we aren’t married to one location or activity. Kristine tests out indoor cycling classes all over the DMV, while Lexie just joined a gym and started working with a personal trainer.

Kristine uses workouts to relieve stress from her day job and help maintain a work-life balance. For Lexie, exercise is more about habit and journey. Starting with yoga and through teacher training, physical activity has now become an integral part of daily life.

Who pushes the other?

We act as each other’s pseudo-life coach. Pushing each other isn’t just about workouts. It’s also about encouraging healthy life choices, whether it’s walking to a meeting instead of taking a cab, or eating a salad for lunch rather than something less healthy.

Why does working out together motivate you?

It holds us accountable. It’s hard to skip a workout when you’ve made plans to meet someone there. There’s also a social aspect to exercising together. We chat and catch up before and after class, and have now found ourselves part of a great fitness community in DC.

Tell us about your post-workout ritual. Be honest, do you refuel with something healthy, or indulge a little?

Food and shopping. South Block in Clarendon has delicious smoothies as does Protein Bar in Ballston. We’re itching for the new location to open just around the corner from our office!

We’re usually sipping on a delicious, often green, smoothie as we stroll through shops. Unfortunately for fellow shoppers, we often don’t smell lovely, but working out makes you feel hot! And a new outfit never hurt.

How do you keep up with your workout dates together?

Because of our job, we’re always bouncing around town. Morning meetings and evening events often force us to work out as individuals. We plan in advance and make our fitness goals a priority. We’re big fans of calendar invites, and honor them as we would any other meeting.

For more Lexie and Kristine, follow them at @KristineinDC and @lexie1218 or follow their workouts on Facebook and Twitter!

7 Reasons to Workout with a Friend

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You know why exercise is important, but do you know why it’s better to get your sweat on with friends? Check out seven reasons why working out with a buddy (or buddies!) is one of our favorite ways to rock the #revivalofthefittest.

  1. You train harder and longer

    We all get by with a little help from our friends. So why not workout together? A recent study shows that exercising with a friend helps you train harder, longer, and more regularly than exercising alone.

  2. Friendly competition does a body good

    A little friendly competition doesn’t hurt; in fact, working out with someone at a slightly higher fitness level can encourage you to work harder and constantly give yourself that extra push.

  3. Their success becomes your success

    Your workout buddy’s fitness accomplishments can also encourage you to achieve the same goals. Seeing someone you relate to achieve, and watching the process that gets them there makes it feel more possible for yourself.

  4. Limit the pain, get the high

    Working out releases endorphins, which intensifies when you work out with others. Research indicates that exercising with a friend elicits a “natural high”, making your workout seem easier and less painful. Bonding over burpees never sounded so good!

  5. Experiment with new workouts

    It’s easy to get stuck on auto-pilot when you workout alone because it can be intimidating to try something new. So set a date to try out a new class and invite a friend. Going with a friend makes the experience less scary, more comfortable and more fun.

  6. The workout you won’t cancel

    Once you set a workout date with a friend, it’s more difficult to cancel – who wants to be the flaky friend? Committing to exercise with a friend makes you more socially accountable to your health. Making a habit of hitting the gym together regularly eliminates the question “Should I or shouldn’t I work out today?”, which is where most people fail.

  7. Rituals and rewards

    Research suggests you’re more likely to adopt healthy habits if your friends are, too; you’re also more likely to make healthy choices if you build ritual and rewards around them. Make a habit out of weekend workouts and brunch and it could be the perfect ritual to enjoy with your friends.

Need more reasons to workout with friends? Bring a Friend or Tell a Friend from now through April 28 to earn Revolve Rider Rewards! Details below:

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REVIVE Your Smoothie with These 7 Ingredients

Smoothies are one of our favorite go-to options for on-the go and post-workout meals. They’re delicious and quick to make, but it’s also easy to get into a rut with the same smoothie recipe every time. Tired of your standard frozen fruit and milk-of-your-choice smoothies? We’ve highlighted seven super ingredients that will revive your smoothies from boring to BOOSTING.

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  1. Chia seeds

    How it REVIVES: Yes, chia as in “ch-ch-ch-chia pet”. When added to liquid, chia seeds become gelatinous in texture. These tiny seeds aren’t just good for growing fun houseplants; they’re high in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, protein and fiber.

  2. Flaxseed

    How it REVIVES: Flaxseed is another good source of omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants, and gives smoothies a nutty flavor and texture. Ground flaxseed meal is the easiest to find in your local grocery store – just 1-2 tbsp of ground flaxseed meal gives you the recommended daily dosage.

  3. Almond butter

    How it REVIVES: Revolve NYC instructor Dyan Tsiumis loves putting almond butter in her smoothie. A good alternative to peanut butter, this ingredient provides a big dose of flavor and healthy fat to give your smoothie more staying power. We like Whole Foods freshly ground raw, unsalted almond butter.

  4. Kombucha

    How it REVIVES: This gut-healthy fermented tea contains probiotics, alkalizes your body’s pH levels, and detoxifies the liver. Try adding 1-1.5 cups to your smoothie instead of water or your choice of milk.

  5. Eggs

    How it REVIVES: No need to scramble, fry, poach or boil – raw eggs can be a valuable addition of protein and fat. Revolve DC instructor Grant Hill likes to add two organic raw eggs to his grass-fed whey protein and banana smoothie after intense workouts – “tastes like banana pudding!”

  6. Silken Tofu

    How it REVIVES: A good vegan and protein powder alternative, tofu gives your smoothie that extra protein boost. Make sure to use silken tofu for the best silky smooth, creamy texture.

  7. Green Produce

    How it REVIVES: Think spinach, kale, and even avocado. Throwing some greens into your smoothie is one of the easiest ways to get one of your recommended five to nine servings of vegetables a day. Baby spinach is hardly noticed flavor-wise, while kale can result in a more earthy, kale taste. Adding 1/2 an avocado thickens texture and the healthy fat will keep your hunger at bay.

What ingredients revive your smoothies? Share your tips in the comments below, or on Facebook and Twitter!

Mind Right Body Tight

“theSkimm is the daily newsletter that simplifies the headlines for the educated professional who knows enough to know she needs more. We do the reading for you and explain it with fresh editorial content, breaking down what you need to know to start the conversation.”

If you are a professional female in DC, you should read this daily newsletter! Go to www.theskimm.com now if you don’t receive it already in your inbox each morning.

But why is Revolve, a fitness studio, talking about this? Well, we know our riders are intelligent and passionate about staying fit, both mentally and physically. We partnered with the ladies who started theSkimm for our Mind Right Body Tight ride tomorrow at 10am! We’ll get your brains and bodies going in this 60-minute CBR with Angel.

The ladies who started theSkimm (DC natives and former producers for NBC News) will be in the studio riding as well as discussing the debate, current events, and staying informed while having family, work, life, friends, and fitness to worry about.

And to top it off, our favorites at South Block are providing political-themed smoothies to help fuel your brains and bodies after the ride!

Join theSkimm at Board Room Bar this evening as well at 8:15pm for their debate watching party. Get your smarts on tonight and your sweat on with us tomorrow!

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The Joy of Cycling

All those spinning classes you do are great for all those butt and leg people in your life (unfortunately not as much on the achem other parts of the body achem).  And as for numero uno, isn’t it more fun to see a tight touche and leg physique as you get ready each day whether you’re a chick or a dude?  Your rides at Revolve aren’t just carving detail in those quads and lifting/tightening those hot booties though. 

So what else are you taking away from spinning?  Well, it is truly the gift that just keeps on giving.  You put in the work for 45 minutes to an hour- and VOILA- you are physically, mentally, and emotionally WINNING!  Physical benefits are abundant.  As you likely know, besides toning lower body muscles, it’s a low impact (your knees and feet thank you very much!), high intensity way to send fat a packin’.  It doesn’t end there.  You snooze better, strengthen your heart/lungs, and have higher energy levels from your rides at Revolve!  And did you know that yoga is not your only ticket to satisfying the mind?  Keep on doing those Sun Salutations and Warrior I’s, but know that centering yourself via other workouts is also possible.  Stress reduction, anxiety relief, and improved confidence in your appearance are mental and emotional benefits you can expect. 

We hope your skinny jeans (literally and figuratively for the ladies and figuratively for the gents) are ready for you this fall/winter because they will be the only kind that your sexy backside and legs will be willing to hang with.  Oh and sorry we’re NOT sorry for all that awesome restful sleep and lack of stress you’ll be experiencing with your regiment of spin either!  Be sure to thank yourself, bike, and friendly neighborhood Revolve staff the next time you’re admiring those fantastic glutes in the mirror. 

Grant’s Two Cents on Good Eats

Ever wonder what the best breakfast option is to kick off your day?  And what about those snacks that really power you through until the next meal?  If these are questions that have crossed your mind, read on!  Grant is a powerhouse of knowledge on smart eating so we asked him to share some tips on breakfast and snack choices that are paramount.

Breakfast: One word. EGGS!  They keep you going for a long time as they are the most complete form of good fat and protein on the planet.  Your body simply loves them.  PERIOD.  Some people ditch the yolks opting for egg white omelets.  This is generally due to assumptions that the yolk results in high cholesterol.  Grant offers that you should not be trashing that precious yolk.  Cholesterol does not spike from the yolk rather it is an inflammatory response due to toxins, poisons, and an unhealthy Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratio.  In sum, the yolk is not the bad guy!  Grant suggests local, pasteurized eggs which offer the highest contents of the “good stuff.”  There are plenty of fun way to take in eggs- hard boil them, pan fry them, scramble them, make a frittata, make an omelet.  Get creative and add various veggies, fresh herbs, low-fat cheeses and/or meats to make them as enjoyable as can be.

Snacks: Those windows of time between meals can be filled effectively with long, sustainable sources of energy AKA not carb-laden snacks.  If your meals are carb-packed, you will find yourself insatiable between meals.  This is because the intake of lots of carbs are like kindling a fire- they light up fast but the fire burns out quickly.  What does Grant suggest targeting (and avoiding) to achieve this long, sustainable energy? Here are some tips:

  • High-quality nuts and seeds like macadamia, almonds, and Brazilian nuts (Caution: Be moderate here.  A handful is just right!)
  • Home-made grass-fed beef jerky
  •  Veggie chips by Terra
  • Go easy on the fruit due to the sugar content
  • Avoid the “100 calorie” packs and opt for real food

Another idea is to consider NOT snacking at all.  Instead, fill yourself with nutrient dense meals to hold you over from one meal to the next.  Give your body the chance to naturally burn some of the stored energy (fat).  Even lean people have a reserve of about 20 pounds of fat.  Point being that you will not kick the bucket if you do not snack.  Snacking has become a mainstay because of the sugar roller coaster so many are riding these days.  Avoid the refined carbs and extra sugar and strive for real human meals packed with organic veggies and high-quality meat and not only will your energy soar on the reg, but you will be head towards the “fat optimized” zone where your body will USE rather than STORE both dietary and body fat.